Art inspiration advice

Art inspiration advice

Really weird art inspiration advice that actually works? You should follow your heart; trust your gut feelings.

Stay True To Your Vision

Here is the short list of answers for art advice. Trust your gut, stay true, create your own style and keep exploring new ideas. For details keep reading.

If you are a young professional looking for inspiration to help you find yourself working as an artist you may find Lisa CongdonThe Essential Guide for building your career as an Artist” helpful. In her book she reveals many ways you can earn a living by making art through illustration, fine art sales, print sales, licensing and even teaching art.

There are many books written on the topic but what I have written here is not written in books. Or at least I do not believe so.

These are my own experiences I am sharing. By the way I am no expert and I am still learning myself.

Take The Art Job

Don’t be afraid to take the job. Art is a commodity and there are many opportunities for commercial work. Being creative is not easy and people are willing to pay for top talent. Look for work in design.

Designing graphic art, poster art, logo art even web design art. By taking on these types of work you can call yourself a working artist. There are thousands of companies looking for talented web design artists.

3 Creative Web Artists That Will Inspire and Motivate You

Creates art work that holds within it inherent contradictions.

Billy Dufala and his brother Steven; together they are known as the Dufala Brothers.

She is a contemporary American visual artist best known for her paintings, printmaking and photography.

What many of these artists have in common is that they were able to draw on valuable life experiences to build on their art success. In addition, they took advice from other artists within their area of expertise.

Handing Over a Dream - Commission Art

Finally, someone recognizes your talent and ask you to do a commission art piece for them. What’s scarier than accepting the commission and then handing over your work? This is exactly what happens when you do a commission to create a custom piece of art. Most of the time the commissioned piece is very near and dear to the heart of the person asking you to do the commission therefore it positively has to be done right. Your art work may end up hanging on the wall for many years to come. As an artist you take the privilege of taking the vision and turning it into a work of art. It’s a scary and exciting feeling at the same time.

Don’t be afraid to accept commission work.

As an artist I suggest you ask for as many good quality photographs as you can possibly get. The better the image you can get the better your art work will include all the right aspects of the subject making it near and dear to the owner’s heart. Make sure you discuss details as you refine your ideas. This is especially a good idea if you are not able to get photos. Be sure to set clear expectations up front and as early as you can. Also, make sure you choose a style that you are comfortable with. If you are asked to do a particular style and that’s not your expertise then you may have to just say no. And that’s perfectly OK to do.

Make Your Niche Now

It’s not just enough to make art and be good at it. You should strive to develop your own style. People need to be able to recognize your work in a crowded room. They should know immediately that it’s yours. When I first started out I could have easily made clay art on a potter’s wheel like millions of other very talented clay artists. But I wanted to make something different and something that set me and my work apart from everyone else. It took time and hard work but I developed my own style and technique in which I am very proud of.
One famous artist who gained worldwide fame by finding his own niche is George Rodrigue. In the early 1990s he developed his Blue Dog series.

Why You Should Take Note of Inspiration

There are endless images on the internet but there are very few that are near and dear to you. I am talking about the ones that awaken the creativity in you. These are the images you want to file away and draw inspiration from at a later date. These are things you can come back to later. You should hold on to these. They can become like gold later.

My Top 2 Greatest Resources for Inspiration

One of my favorite places to get ideas from is Pinterest and Google images. Pinterest is a gold mine of images and ideas. One of the founders Evan Sharp had an idea for an app for collecting media across the internet thus Pinterest was born. Log on and create an account and start collecting images that are interesting to you. The key is to pin your photos into collections called boards. My collections of boards form what I call my collection of intentions. They are images in which inspire me to make my own creation of that particular object or where I can get ideas.

The key is to pin your photos into collections called boards. My collections of boards form what I call my collection of intentions. They are images in which inspire me to make my own creations.

Many times I wonder about color combinations and this is where I can actually see what the results would look like on whatever object I am planning to create. It’s a great resource where anyone can go to get ideas for any project or special interest.

I also use it as a way to discover new ideas and things I never knew that were out there. It’s like the Swiss army knife of discovering new things.

The way I use Google images is when I am searching for everyday things on the internet occasionally I run across an interesting photo. I save the image into a folder on my computer or store it on Google docs for review later. On the home page you can search for an image by entering a query and pressing the search button. If you don’t see what you are looking for then you should refine your search. Mostly this happens when I am searching a particular topic where words have more than one meaning.

Top 6 Funniest Google Image Searches

5. Dird

Too bad Google does not show this one in the searches any more. Instead shows images for “died”.

Google may have removed some of the images or revised their search algorithm and now shows other images than the ones depicted above, as in the case of the “Dird”.

It’s easy enough to download images but just make sure you understand the legal aspects of copyrighted material.

Why You Should Get out and Explore

It’s easy to isolate yourself in the studio and take on a solitary practice. Stay connected with your world and in touch with what is going on outside. If at first you don’t succeed keep on trying. Don’t give up just because you perceived you failed at one attempt. Get out and explore your world for new ideas. Use the vast outside to inspire new color combinations, texture and subject matter.

Consider Van Gogh. Van Gogh did not become an instant success over night. Many of his first attempts to paint with watercolors while at school were challenging. While drawing “The Hague” his work did not live up to expatiation. His work was considered disappointing. He was asked to do a second commission in which he did. He experimented with different lighting conditions and different drawing materials until he perfected what he perceived as being good.

Later of course, after he became famous these early pieces of work were recognized as masterpieces. As Van Gogh developed he created a new approach. He got out and often painted landscapes and still life using bold colors and expressive brushworks. All found in nature. While in France in 1888 he expanded his subject matter to include olive trees, wheat fields and sunflowers.

Why You Should Always Apply and Apply Again

Any assistance can be great but it’s not easy. Anyone who shows talent and is marketable can receive help in a variety of ways such as cash grants, employment and or internships and even low cost exhibition space.

The first thing to do is decide on your priorities and what you are looking for in the way of help and or assistance. For example, you may need cash for living expenses while your work therefore an unrestricted grant will be the best way forward.

When applying and asked for images of your work make sure you submit ones that you feel are worthy. If the application asks for eight images and you have more than eight but only feel five are worthy, then wait. Wait until you have eight that your feel is worth showing off. Remember these images will represent you and you are looking for your work to show off your skills and abilities. Some organizations will ask you to submit in what appears to be more work than what is really needed to judge your abilities. What they are aiming for is to see if you are capable of completing a body of work and demonstrate you are capable of acting on an idea and completing the task.

Apply for as many opportunities as you feel you are qualified for. And most of all do not get discouraged if you get turned down. Feel free to apply again because many boards or panels change so you may get accepted the next time.

Top 4 resources for locating grants and assistance

"Find the knowledge you need to make the difference"
"Creative Capital supports innovative and adventurous artists across the country through funding, counsel, and career development services. Our pioneering venture philanthropy approach helps artists working in all creative disciplines realize their visions and build sustainable practices"
"What's an Artist Residency? It's where artists work on their art. They are research-and-development labs for the arts, providing artists with time, space, and support for the creation of new work and the exploration of new ideas"
"New York Foundation for the Arts is a nonprofit service organization that provides the concrete resources that working artists and emerging arts organizations need to thrive"

Real Life Example of Grants in Action

Just think you are sitting there thinking about your next art project. You are working through the color combinations when you receive call from none other than Susan.

  • You pick up the phone and the caller says, “Hello”, is this, fill-in-your-name-here?
  • And you say “yes”, “who is this?”
  • The caller says “This is Susan and we are offering you a grant”.
  • And of course you say, “Yea, right, this is a prank call, right?
  • Wait, did you say your name was SUSAN UNTERBERG? OMG!!!”

In my case, if I received a grant, I would be able to afford to buy clay for my next ceramic art project or maybe buy a good kiln. Just think of the possibilities!

In the case above this really happened, not to me, but to a female artist in Syracuse over the age of 40. She now has the money to peruse her dreams. She of course needed the money but the really big thing is she received the support and encouragement from Susan. This enabled her to continue working on her dreams with confidence!

Over the past two decades Susan Unterberg has anonymously given grants to female artists worth more than five million dollars. In recent years, Susan has decided to come forth and be known as the person behind the grants.

Susan’s photographic work was in the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati in 2004. Her collections were also in the Jewish Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She is based out of New York.  Susan made her niche. When you see her work you immediately recognize it. She like other great artists were able to think outside the box and come up with very interesting and unique works of art.

Anonymous Was A Woman” is a grant awarded to ten female artist over the age of 40. It’s an unrestricted grant of twenty five thousand dollars.

Images below are from from the 2017 recipients.

Why You Should Take a Class Now

If you are a degree professional or a self taught artist it pays to take an art class. There are countless benefits by enrolling in an art class. You may even learn new methods or new techniques.

One big benefit is you will most likely meet other artists. Hopefully, you will meet other like-minded people and be able to collaborate with them. This gives you new perspectives on how other artists work and that can be invaluable information for you as you learn and grow.

Taking a class also forces you to hit deadlines and is a great way to gain motivation. It basically forces you to work. While in class you will have the opportunity to engage in discussions about your work and the work of others. By doing so will help you form and solidify you own artistic working methods and philosophies. You will use this knowledge to fine-tune your approach to being an artist.

There are many places that offer excellent classes. They best way to start is to do local searches for private studios and or workshops around where you live. There are also university programs where you can opt for single classes.

My Favorite Art schools in and Around Nashville, TN

"Creative careers are thriving in Music City! Located a few minutes from downtown Nashville, Nossi places you in the middle of one of the top cities in the nation."
"Bring your vision. We'll provide knowledge, resources, and mentors to help bring it to life"
"We invite you to come for a performance or a tour and experience firsthand the artists, scholars and individuals of NSA"
"Welcome to the Department of Art and Design"

How To Improve Your Career Immediately

Victor Hugo

If someone were to ask the question what is the biggest single impact on your career as an artist I am betting the top reply would be “making plans and following them”. This reminds me of a true story about Victor Hugo. He is an artist in a difference sense.

Victor faced an impossible deadline. He made an agreement with his publisher that he would write a new book. It’s the summer of 1830 and he had not even started to write. He kept delaying and delaying; he pursued other projects and had fun entertaining. His publisher became very frustrated and responded by setting a deadline in stone. Victor could do nothing but meet the deadline, no more procrastinating.

He developed a plan to meet the deadline. He locked away all his clothes and was left with only one item of skimpy clothing to wear thus discouraging him from going outside. He was no longer temped to go outside and was forced to stay inside and write. His plan worked. He wrote like a madman during the winter of 1830 and as a result his book “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” was published two weeks earlier than expected.

When you make plans you are making plans for your future self. Where do you want to be in the future? However, daily life comes in and you are pulled in many directions. What really happens is most of the time you give into instant gratification and postpone your longer term goals. In Victor’s case he beat this temptation by locking away his cloths.

Sometimes you have to resort to thinking outside the box to get things done.


As a young art professional the best advice is not to be afraid to take on new challenges that may come your way. Don’t be afraid to go out and explore your world, take the job and or make your own niche. Always be on the lookout for great resources for inspiration and make sure to file them away in a place where you can come back to them at a later date. Look for ways to improve yourself by making plans for your future self. Get creative to stay true to your vision and keep reaching for the stars.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Every artist was first an amateur”


“The past cannot be changed. The future is yet in your power”

Pablo Picasso

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up”
Close Menu